Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney was Jay Leno’s guest on the Tonight Show Friday, and he didn’t have kind things to say about the current White House resident or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
At one point in their discussion, Romney said, "I'm not a fan of the president - in case you didn't know that."
Soft labeling of Communist dictators ("enigmatic"?) has been a historical problem for the New York Times. On Wednesday, reporters Mark Landler and David Sanger described the late South Korea president Park Chung-Hee as a "strongman" as his "steely conservative" daughter Park Geun-hye, current president of the country, meets President Obama for the first time.
In contrast, North Korea's new young dictator Kim Jong-un was an "erratic, often belligerent young leader in Pyongyang," the Times leaving out ideological labels and not mentioning the totalitarian nature of his regime.
That month-long hiatus enjoyed by Ed Schultz since MSNBC put "The Ed Show" on hold has made him unusually perceptive, if only momentarily.
On his radio show Friday, Schultz made a suggestion about handling the crisis on the Korean peninsula that will have many liberals spitting up their decaffeinated double lattes. (Audio clip after page break)
As the media predictably gush and fawn over the thought of Hillary Clinton as president, there's something extremely obvious they've been missing.
Rather surprisingly, Roger Simon, the perilously liberal chief political columnist at Politico, asked the $64 million question on CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, "How good a job did she really do as Secretary of State?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
"If he’s not assassinated or not overthrown in a coup, he’s going to be in power for 40 years, and he is going to wed those atomic bombs to those missiles, and he’ll be able to threaten South Korea and Japan and U.S. bases in Asia.”
So said Pat Buchanan about North Korea's Kim Jong Un on PBS's McLaughlin Group Friday.
The Obama administration in 2009 dropped the Bush administration’s plan to add missile interceptor capability against North Korea, yet on Friday, when Obama’s Pentagon realized their error and scrambled to announce a reversal to implement the Bush plan, ABC, CBS and NBC failed to mention Obama’s dereliction. (Below: Krauthmmer zinged “Democratic resistance” to missile defense. “Reagan was right.”)
On Monday, the NBA Hall of Famer, in a vulgarity laden interview with CBS's Fargo, North Dakota, affiliate KXJB, said he’s going to be "vacationing" with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in August (video follows with transcribed highlights and commentary, serious vulgarity warning):
Ping-pong diplomacy worked with China, so why not b-ball diplomacy with North Korea? Mika Brzezinski is clearly not buying that line of logic. On today's Morning Joe, Brzezinski confessed to being "angry" with George Stephanopoulos for having the extraterrestrial otherwise known as Dennis Rodman on This Week to discuss his recent trip to North Korea, which included meeting with its new leader, Kim Jong Un.
Mika didn't spare her fellow MJ panelists, calling them "idiots" when they persisted in discussing Rodman's trip and TW appearance. View the video after the jump.
The word games in the press, especially at the Associated Press, concerning North Korea's nuclear capabilities are head-spinning.
In a June 16, 2009 dispatch, Ben Feller's story at the AP carried the following headline at the Huffington Post: "Obama, Lee: We Won't Allow North Korea To Have Nuclear Weapons" ("Lee" is Lee Myung-bak, then and still President of South Korea). Yet Feller's first paragraph referred to the North as a "nuclear-armed nation." If you're "armed," doesn't that mean you have a "weapon"? Additionally, a CNN report on the same day mentioned that President Obama would not be "allowing North Korea to develop nuclear weapons," though the country has claimed possession of them since early 2005. An exercise in excuse-making at the AP Wednesday evening by Bradley Klapper only adds to the confusion (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Since September 2, NewsBusters has been showcasing the most egregious bias the Media Research Center has uncovered over the years — four quotes for each of the 25 years of the MRC, 100 quotes total — all leading up to our big 25th Anniversary Gala next week.
Click here for blog posts recounting the worst of 1988 through 2004. Today, the worst bias of 2005: NBC’s Brian Williams equates America’s Founding Fathers with the zealots running Iran; ex-New York Times editor Howell Raines goes on a post-Katrina rant about the human carnage caused by the Bush administration’s “churchgoing populism,” and Ted Turner tries to defend North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il . [Quotes and video below the jump.]
Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea who inherited his position from daddy, Kim Jong-il, now has another toy to play with thanks to being fortunate enough to live through birth. Although the bloated young Kim appears as if he would have difficulty performing even one boot camp pushup, he has just been given control of the entire military due to his promotion to grand marshal of the army.
Jack Kim (no known relation to guess who) of Reuters wrote up the story about this not exactly merit-based promotion. However, Mr. Kim also gave us a buildup about some "sharp change" in North Korea that turned out to be a highly laughable letdown. First the "sharp change" hype:
North Koreans appear even more prickly about criticism of their dear leadership as American liberals are of theirs.
On her MSNBC show last night, Rachel Maddow was interviewing NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel live from Pyongyang shortly after a long-range missile launched by the communist regime broke apart and crashed into the sea. (video after page break)
Yet another episode being reported from the totalitarian nightmare that is North Korea is getting short shrift in most of the world's press, namely "criticism sessions" (i.e., rat out your neighbor, coworker, etc.) identifying North Koreans who allegedly weren't sufficiently grief-stricken over the December death of Kim Jong Il (pictured at right), weren't sufficiently demonstrative about it, or didn't attend enough mourning events, as well as the punishments for such transgressions which have reportedly followed.
The source is the Daily NK, a South Korea-based web site described by AFP as "an Internet website run by opponents of North Korea." The opening paragraphs from Wednesday's Daily NK report read as follows (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Jean H. Lee's Friday afternoon report at the Associated Press on the omnipresence of images of the late Kim Jong Il throughout North Korea reads more like an audition to be the communist nation's next propaganda minister than a wire service report.
Not once does she call the late tyrant a tyrant, or for that matter even a Communist. If you didn't know any better, you would think you're reading about some idyllic place where people are happy, content, and well-off -- not a place where oppression rules, hundreds of thousands starve, and millions more would but for the kindness of foreigners. Though there is no substitute for reading the whole relatively short thing, here are several paragraphs indicating just how bad Lee's report really is (saved here in full as a graphic for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes; HT to an NB tipster):
It's certainly not the most egregious media bias or error story you'll every see. But hey, it's the end of the year and almost GOP primary time, so take a break, lighten up a bit, and enjoy this one.
On Wednesday, as shown here and based on when comments first appeared, USA Today's Chris Woodyard put up an item in McPaper's "Drive On" blog about how the funeral of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il used decades-old Lincolns. The headline: "North Korea's elite use Nixon-era Lincolns." Figures, right? Any chance to get in a dig at a Republican or conservative. What's wrong with just saying "1970s"? Well, nothing, especially when you're proven wrong about the Nixonian lineage.
At the New York Times Thursday morning, reporter Choe Sang-Hun's covering the funeral for late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il made it clear to readers that it "The funeral, and the mourning, appeared to have been meticulously choreographed by the government." Meanwhile, over at the Associated Press (saved here at host for future reference, fair use and discussion purposes), a story involving five reporters left the impression that the outpouring of grief was genuine and broadly shared.
Here are key paragraphs relating to that aspect of the funeral coverage, first from the Times (bolds are mine throughout this post):
How nutty is the Daily Kos blog? Nutty enough to make an outraged defense of North Korea? Yes. On Wednesday afternoon, Niccolo Caldararo – an adjunct professor of anthropology at San Francisco State University – complained “The Western media wallows in the exotic and North Korea has been the clown of the 20th century, brought forward for comic relief now and then or pasted up as a ‘paper tiger,’ to scare voters before elections or as a distraction for other important news.”
To hear the professor tell it, the capitalist imperialists are licking their chops after the death of Kim Jong Il: “Let's face it, North Korea is ripe for capitalism, there are millions of potential workers who will work for near nothing. The hope is that the regime will crumble like the Soviet Union and give way to massive investment opportunities." He actually argues North Korea is “no less responsible toward its own citizens” than South Korea or America:
After presidential candidate Michele Bachmann referred to North Korea as “the Wal-Mart of missile delivery systems,” CNN correspondent Brian Todd hyped the possible political backlash she could suffer for using Wal-Mart’s name in such a manner.
The CNN headline blared “Bachmann Insults Wal-Mart” and Todd whacked the GOP candidate with a critical segment on her making an “odd Wal-Mart reference.”
Can we declare a moratorium on using the word “enigmatic” to describe North Korea’s totalitarian leadership?
The death of the North Korea dictator Kim Jong-il made the late edition of the Monday New York Times. The obituary by veteran foreign policy reporter David Sanger appeared under the rather neutral online headline “A Ruler Who Turned North Korea Into a Nuclear State.”
Reporting on the death of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il on Monday, CNN's American Morning re-visited a soft report from then-correspondent Alina Cho's heavily-guarded visit to the country in 2010.
Cho admitted that the state controlled where she went – but her reporting was fawning at times in what clearly was the state's effort to produce propaganda for outside nations. [Video below the break. Click here for audio.]
Will the death of despotic dictator Kim Jong Il lead to less pandering and naive reporting on North Korea? Not if the past is any indicator. On September 19, 2005, CNN founder Ted Turner appeared on his own network to credulously insist that Kim "didn't look" evil. Turner proclaimed, "...He didn’t look too much different than most other people." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
After a bewildered Wolf Blitzer pointed out the harsh treatment of the North Korean people, Turner offered his own first-hand account: "Well, hey, listen. I saw a lot of people over there. They were thin and they were riding bicycles instead of driving in cars, but...I didn’t see any brutality."
A newly posted Time-Life magazine photo montage showcased pictures of North Korea and touted photographer Christopher Morris comparing brutal dictator Kim Jong Il to the "very controlled environment" of George W. Bush's White House.
On Life magazine's website, Morris connected, "America at that time  was, you'll recall, filled with a kind of blind nationalism. But Time appreciated the way I was able to work and get good photos even within that intensely restrictive environment -- and that's why they sent me to North Korea." The photographer bizarrely insisted that taking pictures in America could be "more restrictive than in North Korea."
After 17 years reigning as the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il has reportedly died of heart failure, and his son, Kim Jong Un, has been announced as his successor. With instability in the region possibly posing a security threat to neighboring countries and abroad, governments around the world are keeping a careful eye on the region.
What do you think Kim Jong Il's death means for the future of North Korea? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Pat Buchanan regularly serves as Morning Joe's lone conservative in the show's self-described 10:1 ratio sea of lib to conservative guests. But Buchanan this morning demonstrated that he is anything but a Republican partisan.
Sounding more like Barney Frank after a bad night's sleep, Buchanan blasted President George W. Bush, claiming 43 "broke the Republican party and frankly he broke the United States as a superpower." View the video after the jump.
President Obama’s nominee to a top State Department post is one of the few American diplomats to have met North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, whom she later described as “smart, capable and supremely confident.”
Wendy Sherman traveled to Pyongyang in 2000 in her capacity as counselor to then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Visiting South Korea four years later – when she was no longer in government – Sherman had positive things to say about the reclusive Stalinist leader.